On 30 March 2018, a 10-year moratorium on fracture stimulation (also known as “hydraulic fracturing”, or “fracking”) for the production of gas has been introduced in the Limestone Coast region of South East South Australia.
This moratorium will be in place in the following local council areas defined as comprising the Limestone Coast region (map provided below):
- City of Mount Gambier
- Naracoorte Lucindale Council
- District Council of Grant
- Tatiara District Council
- Kingston District Council
- Wattle Range Council
- District Council of Robe
The Department for Energy and Mining will not for a 10-year period consider for approval in the above listed local council areas an Environmental Impact Report or Statement of Environmental Objectives submitted under Section 97 and 99 of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 that includes fracture stimulation.
On 5 September 2018, the South Australian Government moved to legislate this 10-year moratorium through the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy (Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing) Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill). If the Bill is passed into legislation, hydraulic fracturing across the Limestone Coast Region will be banned for 10 years from the date the legislation is passed.
To better inform community perceptions in respect to all forms of gas exploration, development and production, the State Government has partnered with CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) to carry out independent research within the Limestone Coast region.
Details on the research projects to be undertaken by GISERA can be found online at: https://gisera.csiro.au/states/sa/
Fracture stimulation is still permitted in other regions of the State subject to the requisite approval process under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000.